Fake News: Trump attack story uses Wrestlemania photo

Associated Press

A widely shared false news story claiming President Donald Trump was attacked and knocked unconscious is illustrated with an image of Trump at a pro wrestling event more than a decade ago.

The story posted to the hoax website Action News 3 claims Trump was struck with a tire iron last summer outside Trump Tower in New York. The attacker was said to have been a Muslim “extremist” who confronted Trump while posing as a Fox News commentator. It didn’t happen.

An image accompanying the false story comes from a 2007 Associated Press photo of Trump on the mat at WrestleMania 23 in Detroit. Wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin knocked Trump down after promoter Vince McMahon’s wrestler lost his match to Trump’s wrestler and had his head shaved by Trump.

The image has been used before in other false stories about supposed attacks on Trump, including a 2017 false report that the president passed out at a rally when someone poisoned his drink, and another that incorrectly claimed he was the target of a hit during a Nevada rally.

This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.